‘A tremendous ball of fire hurled into the dark recesses of our world’ Ocean Vuong
‘Radical . . . invites the reader to become an agent in a joint act of recovery’ Tracy K. Smith
‘Psychotropic, visionary songs of love and defiance’ Ralf Webb
‘Deeply informed by love, and a tenderness for the ravages and tumult of existence’ Eileen Myles
‘Queer . . . gorgeous . . . just stunning’ Joelle Taylor
A captivating, original call for creative freedom from one of the most singular poets of our time
‘this mechanistic world . . . has required me to FIND MY BODY to FIND MY PLANET in order to find my poetry’
Since their inception in 2005, CAConrad’s (soma)tic poems have acted as an urgent appeal for an embodied, unfettered creative practice. Rooted in the Sanskrit ‘soma’, meaning ‘to press and be newly born’, and the Greek-derived ‘somatic’, relating to the body, Conrad’s (soma)tic poetry reaches out from electrifying, esoteric rituals. Their methods are elaborate, and the results are unexpected: one, for instance, might begin by seeing the poet flood their body with the field calls of extinct animals – and end not only in a consideration of survivor’s guilt and the destruction of ecosystems, but also in an elated sense of the presence, close at hand, of the many friends and lovers they lost to AIDS.
Conrad draws on these rituals to enter a political, physical and spiritual state of consciousness, meditating on ecology, queerness and grief in powerful, dreamlike poetry that invites us to engage with the essence of things. This new selection is a testimony to poetry’s capacity to reconnect us with the present moment and put an end to the alienation we feel: from our bodies, our surroundings, our planet.